Scotland: Men`s Premiership title in Grange`s own hands while Women’s Scottish Cup semis get underway


There are two games to go in the men`s Premiership title race, and the destiny is in Grange`s own hands. All they have to do is to beat Watsonians on Saturday and Uddingston the following week, and the title is theirs.

That is because Grange are a point ahead of Edinburgh University and four in front of Western Wildcats.

It is true that the Premiership campaign consists of 16 games in total – but Grange`s recent 4-0 win over Wildcats was certainly a catalyst.

On paper, Grange will fancy themselves for a victory over Watsonians. The latter have struggled in the Premiership since the split. And yet, when the teams met back in September Grange only won by 3-2, and that came from an Aidan McQuade penalty corner strike with only five minutes left. A repeat for Grange would be too close for comfort.

Hamish Imrie`s Edinburgh University are waiting in the wings only a point adrift, and they must keep winning.

On Saturday the students are at home to a Hillhead side enjoying the success of making the top six split. Their recent form has been contrasting – Edinburgh have won all three games in the split scoring 14 goals in the process, and that included a 3-1 win over Grange in their only reversal of the season so far, while Hillhead have managed only a point out of nine. Edinburgh will likely fancy themselves to keep up the title pressure.

The other top flight encounter brings Uddingston to Auchenhowie to take on Western Wildcats. The encounter has interest – Western will keep the pressure on while hoping for a Grange slip-up as Uddy look to hang on to fourth spot for the play-offs. So both will strive for the three points.

And on to the relegation issue.

What is already decided is Kelburne will play in the second flight next season while Clydesdale and Dundee Wanderers are well out of the woods, and Inverleith are just about clear.

So it looks a straight contest between Grove Menzieshill and ESM to avoid the play-off spot – the latter are slightly in the driving seat with a point advantage.

But neither have it easy on Saturday. Grove Menzieshill entertain a Clydesdale side that have recovered some of their form since missing out in the top six, the Titwood outfit have taken seven points from their last three games, so not easy for the Taysiders.

ESM are no better off as they travel to Dundee to face a Wanderers side that have come to life in the second half of the season. However, back in November it was ESM that triumphed by 3-1, Fraser Sturrock (2) and Jack Collister were on target that day.

There are a couple of women`s catch-up games prior to the weekend.

On Thursday evening Glasgow University have the chance to confirm their Premiership status for next season with a home game against Uddingston. A single point is all that is needed to put the students four points ahead of Hillhead with only one game left.

The following evening Grange take on GHK, the winner could approach to within two points of Wildcats in fourth place. That could set up an interesting final game of the season with Wildcats entertaining Grange at Auchenhowie.



A hat-trick by Ciara Forgie has effectively lifted Glasgow University out of the relegation zone as the students beat Uddingston 3-1 in Thursday evening`s catch-up fixture in the women`s Premiership   The win lifted Glasgow into ninth place above Inverleith, but more importantly they are now four points ahead of Hillhead with only one game remaining.  And that means that Hillhead will enter a play-off with the runners-up from the second tier with a place in next season`s Premiership at stake.


Scottish Cup – Semi-Finals

Western Wildcats may not have had a great season in the Premiership but they have a good chance of making this season`s Scottish Cup final, and are up against Uddingston in Sunday`s first semi-final.

In the Premiership the Cats are in the upper split, and Uddingston in the lower – but the outcome may be closer than that. Since the split the Cats have only taken one point from four games while Uddingston have won all three to date and top their group. However, the league encounter was a 4-3 win for the Auchenhowie outfit, with Kate Holmes bagging a couple.

So it could be close.

Watsonians will feel they are on course to repeat last season`s treble now that the Premiership title is safely in the bag, and Clydesdale Western are in the road at the other semi-final. Certainly Clydesdale have shown recent resurgence in form and results, but will it be enough to upset the cup holders?

League form and position is one thing, but the cup is a once-off occasion and can often throw up a huge result or two.


by Scotland Hockey

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